Bigelow writes Oscar history

LOS ANGELES: The much-hyped Oscar fight between Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and James Cameron’s Avatar turned out to be a knockout on March 7, as Hurt Locker won Best Picture and Bigelow became the first woman in Academy Award history to win for Best Direction.

Those wins were two of six Hurt Locker took home from its nine nominations during the live ceremony at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, including Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Shut out of the major categories, Avatar nabbed a total of three wins — out of nine nominations — in categories like Cinematography, Visual Effects and Art Direction.

Taking the stage to accept the win for Best Picture and Directing award, Bigelow said, “I’d just like to dedicate this to the women and men of the military who risk their lives every day in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world. May they come home safe.”

Jeff Bridges capped a remarkable run through awards season with a win for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role as a washed-up country singer in Crazy Heart. Accepting the Oscar Bridges giggled and hooted as he expressed gratitude to his deceased parents. “Thank you, Mom and Dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession,” he said.

Sandra Bullock, star of The Blind Side, the true story of a woman whose family adopts an impoverished teen, won Best Actress in a Leading Role. It was her first nomination and her first win. “Did I really earn this, or did I just wear y’all down?” she began her acceptance speech, adding that her award was dedicated to “moms that take care of their babies and their children no matter where they come from. Those moms and parents never get thanked.”

Both the Best Actor and Best Actresses in a Supporting Role went to heavy favourites. Christoph Waltz for his role of calculatingly evil Nazi officer in Inglourious Basterds and Mo’Nique, won for her role as an abusive mother in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.

Oscar hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin descended from the rafters in a silvery contraption to deliver an opening monologue that offered some serious clunkers in the midst of all the jokes at the expense of the night’s nominees.

To present the award for Makeup, Ben Stiller appeared with his face painted blue like a Na’vi alien from Avatar, even though Cameron’s film was not nominated in the category. Mimicking the Na’vi language in the film, Stiller then said, “That means, ‘This sounded like a better idea in rehearsals.’”

The category was won by Star Trek, for JJ Abrams’ rebooted version of the sci-fi franchise.

The winners

• Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

• Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart

• Actress in Leading Role: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

• Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

• Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

• Animated Feature Film: Up, Pete Docter

• Director: Kathryn Bigelow,

The Hurt Locker

• Documentary Feature: The Cove, Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

• Documentary Short: Music by Prudence, Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

• Foreign Language Film: The Secret in Their Eyes (El

Secreto de Sus Ojos), Argentina, directed by Juan José Campanella

• Short Film (Animated): Logorama, Nicolas Schmerkin

• Short Film (Live Action): The New Tenants, Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

• Visual Effects: Avatar